Recipes From The Heart No. 25

Few activities bring more comfort than preparing good food for dining enjoyment. These recipes are from American legends. They will bring a smile and are almost guaranteed to stimulate conversation and compliments.

Jim O’Kon’s new Hemingway book reveals a genuine gourmet.

Hemingway’s Favorite Hamburger

July 21 is the birthday of Ernest Hemingway, a bigger than life legend who embraced his destiny like few others.

Food and drink found prominence in his novels. From early childhood, he pursued fishing and hunting and learned from his father the niceties of frying freshly caught mountain trout. His palate expanded and was refined by years in Paris, Madrid, New York, Havana and Key West. His Florida home, still one of the top attractions on the island, had a well-stocked wine cellar and, like his home in Havana, was always open to guests for dinner parties and cold delights from the bar.

Pick up a copy of the latest book about Papa, “Sitting in Hemingway’s Chair,” by the gifted writer Jim O’Kon. (Available on Amazon).

Here is Hemingway’s favorite recipe for hamburgers, as described by food writer Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan in her article in The Paris Review, “Papa’s Favorite Hamburger.” The image of the original typed recipe is included and contains Mary Hemingway’s handwritten notes.


1 lb. ground lean beef

2 cloves, minced garlic

2 little green onions, finely chopped

1 heaping teaspoon, India relish

2 tablespoons, capers

1 heaping teaspoon, Spice Islands Sage

Spice Islands Beau Monde Seasoning — ½ teaspoon

Spice Islands Mei Yen Powder — ½ teaspoon 

1 egg, beaten in a cup with a fork

About one-third cup dry red or white wine

1 tablespoon cooking oil


Break up the meat with a fork and scatter the garlic, onion, and dry seasonings over it, then mix them into the meat with a fork or your fingers.

Note: This is intended for a skillet. You may have to substitute some ingredients. Cook to your satisfaction. Enjoy with a favorite wine. Papa would approve

Famous Dave’s Bread Pudding with Praline Sauce

I first met Dave Anderson, known coast to coast as Famous Dave, at the Jack Daniel’s International Barbecue Competition in Lynchburg,Tennesse where we served on the team of judges.  A Choctaw and Ojibwe Indian, Famous Dave is the quintessential self-made man. His highly popular sauces and condiments fill supermarket shelves. Famous Dave’s restaurants dot the American and Canadian countryside, testaments to his renown in the world of food. Enjoy this dessert: a recipe he created.


1 loaf Cinnamon Swirl Bread

2/3 cup Golden Raisins

1 1/2 cups Sugar

4 cups Milk

2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream

1/4 cup Vanilla Extract

8 Eggs beaten

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Famous Dave’s Praline Sauce (Recipe Below)


Coat bottom and side of a 2-inch deep (very large) baking dish heavily with butter.

Tear bread (including ends) into 1-inch pieces.

Mix with raisins and spread it evenly in the prepared dish; be sure to turn as much of the crusts side down as they tend to burn easily

Whisk sugar, milk, whipping cream, vanilla, eggs and cinnamon until blended.

Pour over bread mixture.

(You can skip this step if you like) Place baking dish in a 4-inch deep baking pan. Add water to reach halfway up side of the baking dish. Bake for 1 hour in 325°F oven.

Remove from water bath and let stand until completely cold.

Spoon into dessert bowls, warm in the microwave and drizzle with warm Famous Dave’s Praline Sauce.

A regal Red Wine that Hemingway would have enjoyed.

Famous Dave’s Praline Sauce


2 cups unsalted Butter cubed

1 1/2 cups chopped Pecans

3 pounds Light Brown Sugar

1 1/2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

2 1/2 cups Sour Cream

1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


Heat 1 cup butter in large saucepan until melted.

Add pecans and mix well.

Bring to a boil. Cook until pecans begin to change color. (Mixture will foam over, so use a large saucepan.)

Add remaining butter and mix well. This will cool the pecan mixture and stop the cooking process.

Remove from heat.

Combine brown sugar, whipping cream and cinnamon in a saucepan and mix well. (Do not beat after you add whipping cream, just mix.)

Cook over low heat until blended, stirring constantly; increase heat–but be sure NOT to let it boil.

Cook to 230°F on a candy thermometer.

Stir in pecan mixture.

Add sour cream and vanilla and mix well.

Remove from heat.

Top with whipped cream and add a scoop of ice cream.

Sir Verde McMaster, a Hemingway admirer, serves as our wine advisor.

Sir Verde’s Wine Suggestion: Hemingway was a genuine gourmet who knew food and wines well. Salute his legacy with a bottle of Pinot Noir from heralded King Estate. Willamette Valley, Oregon 2017.

Bonne dégustation. Love One Another.

Old school journalism describes the style and stories produced by Doc Lawrence. “In everything I do,” he says, “there is a beginning, middle and an end.” One of the top travel writers in the country, Doc is steeped in the heritage of the deep south. Traveling the back roads from Texas to Virginia and on down to Key West inspires stories about local food and wine preferences, community theater, folk art and music often leading to clues for a good story. Heroes include Faulkner, Hemingway, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ralph Ellison, Dorothy Parker and Willie Morris. An Atlanta native, Doc keeps a well-stocked wine cellar and bar and two outdoor grills. He enjoys entertaining and believes that the greatest challenge for a writer is to keep searching for a higher life. |
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